BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local Democrats are proposing reforms at Western Regional Off-Track Betting. This comes after a state audit revealed misuse of power and resources.

State Senator Tim Kennedy introduced legislation today that would change three policies at OTB.

First, it would restructure the board. Second, it would cap the allowance of promotional items to members, including Bills tickets and gifts.

And third, it bans the use of OTB cars as take-home vehicles.

“These three reforms that I’m putting forward in the way of three pieces of separate legislation will go a long way at restoring public trust, creating accountability and transparency at the OTB, and ensuring that there is responsiveness and accountability once and for all,” said Senator Kennedy.

OTB has since responded.

We made immediate changes to internal policies after the State Comptroller’s audit. From reducing the number of take-home cars, to making improvements of how we distribute tickets to our valued customers. We are always striving to improve operations. In the meantime, we will collaborate with local legislators to focus on continuing the momentum we’ve built over the last few years.

While other businesses were forced to lay employees off at the onset of the pandemic, we were able to take steps to make sure our employees were paid. We’ve set records in the amount of critical revenue we’ve distributed to local governments including Erie County and the City of Buffalo, and supported numerous local charities through BDG Cares. We’re proud of the work we do, and are focused on the future.

Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO, Western Regional OTB

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